Female Web use rising
Women and girls now make up half of the Internet user population in the country, and have become the driving force in online shopping, according to the results of a recent survey. According to the online survey conducted by the Web site Yam.com, female Internet use has grown rapidly in the past decade and is now on par with male use. In 1996, female users accounted for only 24.4 percent of the nation's cyber-population. In other findings, nearly 43 percent of Internet users have notebook computers, 34 percent have MP3 players, and 16.7 percent use Skype. Some 61 percent of Internet users also have their own Web logs. Ten years ago, 58.7 percent of the nation's Internet users complained about online congestion, Yam.com said, noting that only 23.5 percent of users today are concerned about junk mail, while 16 percent worry about computer viruses and 11.5 percent about online fraud.
Canine EasyCards on sale
The Taipei Smart Card Corp said yesterday that it will release 1,000 commemorative EasyCards for the Year of the Dog today, though only 900 will be sold to the public. The commemorative cards, at NT$1,200 each, will feature portraits of dogs by local artist Chang Ke-chi (張克齊). The company will donate 5 percent of proceeds to sponsoring two search-and-rescue dogs with an international search-and-rescue team in Taipei, they said. Thirty of the cards with auspicious numbers will be available for purchase by the public during a news conference today, they added. The EasyCards are transport passes allowing holders to travel on Taipei's MRT system and bus network.
Rules for nature reserves
New regulations protecting nature reserves came into effect on Friday. Under the changes, anyone who enters a nature reserve without permission faces a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000. The regulations say that Aboriginal people may apply for permission to enter reserves to perform traditional rituals. Universities and academic organizations may also conduct research in the reserves after obtaining permission from the authorities. Those who are permitted entry are not allowed to remove specimens, disturb fauna, pollute the environment or set up landmarks. Violators will be banned from entering any nature reserve for three years. Taiwan has 19 nature reserves scattered throughout the country. They have been established to protect rare flora, wildlife and geological formations.
Police detained in probe
Prosecutors and agents from the Bureau of Investigation are investigating three Taipei County police officers over allegations of corruption. The officers are alleged to have taken bribes from businessmen running illegal gambling video games. Two of the businessmen have also been detained, while another six businessmen and three officers are being questioned. Taipei County Police Department Commissioner Huang Mao-suei (黃茂穗) told reporters that the officers had been stood down pending the outcome of the probe. Informants told the Banciao District Prosecutors' Office that five underground video game stores had bribed police stations so that they could continue operating. Prosecutors said they led a team of agents to raid the three officers' homes and offices on Friday night and placed them in custody for further questioning.